International food company Nestlé has announced a new type of paper packaging that could reduce its use of single-use plastics. The “high-speed flow wrap technology” allows large scale use of recyclable packaging, something that has previously only been possible using plastic films and laminates, the company said.
Single-use plastic packets for food and cosmetics are one of the main contributors to plastic waste in landfills and in oceans. Around 40 per cent of all plastic that is produced is used for packaging, and the World Economic Forum estimates that 95 per cent of this is not recycled after its initial use.
Major manufacturers and retailers of consumer goods are under pressure to take responsibility for the packaging of their products; Nestlé has pledged to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. More than 400 consumer goods and packaging companies have signed up to a global commitment to move towards a “New Plastics Economy”, established by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
However, simply making products recyclable is only part of the challenge, as global recycling systems are currently not sufficiently developed to be able to absorb the sheer quantity of waste that is being produced.
Patrice Bula, Head of Strategic Business Units, Marketing and Sales at Nestlé, said: “Consumers are looking for more natural and sustainable options when they choose a snack, both in terms of ingredients and packaging.”
Nestlé’s new packaging will be deployed with the company’s YES! snack bars, and will be available in 13 European countries. The European Union has been discussing a ban on single use plastics, while several member states have already begun the process of phasing them out over the next few decades.
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